Propagating Caryopteris divaricata 'Snow Fairy'

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Caryopteris is an easy plant to propagate and well worth making more of whether you are a beginning propagator or an experienced one. The fall blooming blue flowers attract pollinators of all kinds and provide a valuable burst of color when the summer heat has blasted away most other plantings. It's deer resistant and drought tolerant with very little maintenance need. That's the best kind of plant isn't it?

Here's how to propagate more Caryopteris for your home garden:

1) Prepare your media (I used straight sand mostly because it drains well and is cheap.)
2) Take cuttings with a clean, sharp pair of pruners or scissors. Look for greenwood cuttings (current year's growth) with about two nodes. Caryopteris will root internodally and sometimes I take cuttings with two leaves at the top node with no second node.
3) Strip all the leaves except for 1 to 2 at the top of the cutting.
4) Coat the base of the cutting stem with rooting hormone.
5) Stick the cutting in the rooting media.
6) Water gently and keep the container moist but not soggy. A misting system could be used but I generally just monitor the cuttings and add water when needed.

In a week to ten days you should see roots beginning to form. Give the cutting a gentle tug and if there is resistance odds are that you have roots - or at least your cutting does. Lift the cutting gently with a fork and plant it in a pot with soil to let it grow large enough to plant into the garden. You could try rooting directly into a pot of soil which saves you a step but I prefer to root them in sand then pot the cuttings so that I know if the cuttings have rooted or not. This works for Caryopteris clondonensis cultivars like 'Longwood Blue as well.

Have you tried rooting caryopteris?

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